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January 25, 2010: Don't Say Gay Bill is Back - Urge NO Vote on 1/27/10

Dear ACLU-TN Legislative Alert Network: 

On Wednesday, January 27, HB0821, the “Don’t Say Gay” bill jeopardizing student safety and academic freedom, is back. HB821, sponsored by Representative Stacy Campfield (Knoxville), would prevent teachers, school counselors, and other school administrators from providing “any instruction or materials discussing sexual orientation other than heterosexuality.” 

Please contact members of the House Education K-12 Subcommittee and your State Representative and explain why they should vote against HB821. It is especially important to call your legislator if he/she serves on the K-12 subcommittee. 

The easiest way to identify your legislators is to visit, go to “Find My Legislator,” put in your address and click “search.”    Please forward this to anyone whom you think would like to contact his or her legislators about this issue.  Also, if you know others who might want to receive our email alerts please ask them to sign up by joining through our website. 

Many thanks for joining with us to protect our freedoms. Hedy  



Bill Description

Will Be Heard

ACLU-TN Position

Don’t Say Gay HB0821(Campfield)


Prevents teachers, school counselors and other school administrators from providing “any instruction or materials discussing sexual orientation other than heterosexuality.”  Companion bill is SB1250 (Bunch). 

For printer-friendly talking points, click here.

House Education K-12 Subcommittee  

Wednesday, 01/27/10 at 10:00 a.m. – HHR 16



ACLU of Tennessee opposes HB821 because:

§         Teachers, school counselors and other school administrators - not the General Assembly - are the most qualified to decide what the best way is to responsibly teach about diversity and other current events affecting students today.

§         Anti-gay bullying against both gay and straight students is one of the biggest problems in our public schools.  Teachers and administrators should not be hamstrung in their efforts to address all forms of discrimination and harassment.

§         This blanket ban violates the First Amendment prohibition against viewpoint discrimination by favoring speech about "heterosexuality" and banning speech about gay issues regardless of the educational purpose.  

§         HB821 infringes upon academic freedom by arbitrarily suppressing ideas and dictating to educators and students that only "heterosexuality" may be discussed.

§         The bill may be used to prohibit students from forming Gayaight Alliance clubs and from encouraging tolerance and respect for all students regardless of sexual orientation. 




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